The STEM Resource Center offers a number of curricula and curricular series to help your students learn STEM. Currently, we are developing an online portal that includes free curricula designed by the STEM Center. Much of what we offer makes use of materials freely available for loan from our Resource Center, and comes with everything you need to enhance STEM learning in your classroom. We have updated the website with a few free, downloadable pdfs. Please check back with us soon as we continue to update our website with more curricula.
The acronym M.A.S.H. represents Math And Science Hands-on. The key elements of the M.A.S.H. Kit program are scope and sequence of fundamental science concepts, alignment with state goals, emphasis on science process skills, cooperative learning, integration of language arts, opportunity to apply mathematics skills in real problem solving situations, teacher ownership, and alternatives in assessment.
Lower Elementary (Grades K-2)
Colorful Chemistry: With the Colorful Chemistry kit, students explore the basic principles of chemistry by making solids disappear, baking soda bubble, and colors change. A variety of simple science experiences are used in this kit designed to help primary students observe and predict basic chemical changes. This kit is best for Grades 2-3.
The Five Senses: With the Five Senses kit, students explore the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. Through a variety of activities they utilize their senses and experience the wonders and beauties of the physical world. This kit is best for Grades K-1.
Simple Machines: With the Simple Machines kit, students will explore six simple machines: the inclined plane, the lever, the pulley, the screw, the wedge, and the wheel and axle. Actively studying, building, and using these machines will lead students to understand how machines reduce work. This kit is best for Grades 2-3.
We Dig Dinosaurs: With the We Dig Dinosaurs kit, students explore and gain understanding on how scientists have been able to use fossils to learn about these ancient animals. This kit is best for Grades 2-3.
Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)
Get a Charge: With the Get a Charge kit, students will increase their ability to think scientifically, strengthen their concept knowledge, and enhance their attitude towards the study of science. This kit is best for Grades 5-6.
How Does Your Garden Grow?: With the How Does Your Garden Grow? kit, students will study seed germination to determine the growing needs of plants and gain a better understanding of roots, stems, and leaves. This kit is best for Grades 4-5.
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Water, Water, Here and There – With the Water, Water, Here and There kit, students explore aquatic environments through the scientific study of fresh and salt water. By mixing fresh and saltwater together, dropping objects into water, and identifying mixtures and solutions, students learn “hands-on” about the aquatic environment. This kit is best for Grades 5-6.
Using a common structure, Minds On Science Activities In the Community (MOSAIC) curriculum, introduces K-12 learners to a variety of STEM topics through a hands-on, minds-on approach. The following lessons allow students to build content knowledge through interactive learning while increasing their self-efficacy to be a scientists and engineer. Each lesson can be adjusted to accommodate learning at nearly all grade levels.
Each MOSAIC lesson includes hand-outs for students, a teaching guide for instructors, and a list of materials necessary for the lesson. At the STEM Resource Center we also have complete kits of the lesson materials available for lending. These kits are free except for any consumable materials, for which we charge a replacement cost.
Lower Elementary (Grades K-2)
Magnetic: As students complete the Magnetic MOSAIC kit, they will learn to identify objects that are attracted to magnets and those that are not. They will also learn the differences between the terms “attracting” and “repelling” and will be able to pick out two like poles and two opposite poles through a hands-on learning activity.
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Crystal Chemistry: As students complete the Crystal Chemistry MOSAIC kit, they will learn how to explain the effects of time on crystal development, how to find or create examples of symmetry, and how to explain the necessity of a seed crystal in the crystallization process.
Eyes on the Universe: Through Eyes on the Universe MOSAIC kit, students will learn to identify the parts of a telescope and their individual function, to describe how telescopes collect and magnify light to create an image, and to explain that when they look at a star, they are seeing an image of the star in the past.
Gross Anatomy: As students complete the Gross Anatomy MOSAIC kit, they will learn about the mechanical and chemical digestive processes and be able to give examples of these processes. Students will also be able to identify a previously unknown organ by name and function. Finally, when given a list of organs, students will be able to sequence each based on its role in the digestive system.
Mystery Pellet: Through Mystery Pellet MOSAIC kit, students will identify previously unknown bones and become aware of what owl pellets are, how owls make them, and what’s inside them.
Polymers: As students complete the Polymers MOSAIC kit, they will learn to list examples of commonly used polymers. They will also learn how to differentiate between chained atoms and molecules.
What is Science?: As students complete the What is Science? MOSAIC kit, they will learn how to accurately define science, record good observations, and develop scientific questions.
High School (Grades 9-12)
Biofuels: The Biofuels MOSAIC kit will teach students to track energy in its various forms in the conversion of sunlight to biomass to fuel. They will also learn why biofuels are a more sustainable fuel sources and to value research about alternative fuel sources.
Design to (Avoid) Disaster: The Design to (Avoid) Disaster MOSAIC kit aims to teach students appropriate designs to build prototypes, as well as to determine and record relevant data while testing a prototype. Students will also learn how to identify at least one effective design structure.
Siege the Day: Siege the Day is designed to teach students how to approach a design problem with possible solutions to be tested and modified for improvement. Students will also record and communicate their design process and results.
Digital Humanities is a place-based curriculum designed for middle school youth. The curriculum emphasizes student participation in field-based research to solve real-world problems in their local setting. This curriculum was develop as a collaboration between the STEM Center and the Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship (IRIS) Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in associate with NSF award #DRL – 1433660.
Digital Humanities Curriculum
Introduction: This is an introduction to the DESL curriculum and a history of the project.
Oral Histories and Podcasts: This curriculum module takes students through the process of conducting oral histories, authentically analyzing them as a professional would, and developing ideas and stories about their city that they want to tell from the interviews into podcasts. Included are unit-level goals and skills to be learned, lesson plans, and accompanying online and written resources.
Video Documentaries: This curriculum module takes students through the process of developing ideas and stories about their city that they want to tell into documentary films. Included are unit-level goals and skills to be learned, lesson plans, and accompanying online and written resources.
Walking Tours: This curriculum module takes students through the process of developing ideas and presenting a sense of place using images and a map. Included are unit-level goals and skills to be learned, lesson plans, and accompanying online and written resources.
Download all curriculum models here.
The STEM Center has curricula of all sorts, from our many different grant projects and after school teaching. We are continually growing our library of lesson plans and many of them feature items from our material inventory.
- An AR Sandbox curriculum to teach middle school and high school students to read topographic maps.